Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Rumi: A Lucid Confusion
In one of his poems, Rumi speaks of himself as being in a “lucid confusion.” At first glance, this declaration might seem to be a palpable contradiction of terms. But actually, they go together quite nicely, once we grasp his underlying meaning.
Anyone who attempts to fathom the terrible events now overtaking our world, must, of necessity, fall into confusion. Likewise, those undergoing deep spiritual transformation are likely to be very confused, especially in the first stages of their journey, when the “old self” suddenly is melted away, and the “new self” has yet to be fully formed. Indeed, one wonders, “Who am I? What is the meaning and purpose of this overwhelming transfiguration? Am I now some exalted being, ready to announce my august presence to the world? Or am I victim of some delusion of grandeur—indeed, am I mad?”
Yet, once the battlefield of the spirit clears, once the smoke drifts away and one again gains a sense of balance, one discovers a great lucidity in the entire process that has overcome one’s customary sense of self and world and substituted a new vision. One realizes many fundamental truths with a fresh intensity. One knows that the world and all its beings are indeed part of a grand scheme, part of a field of oneness that can never be fragmented. One realizes that the “great surprise” of transformation has prepared one to participate in that field with renewed vigor and insight. One finds one’s true purpose—and becomes fully lucid even in the midst of the confusion which surrounds.